The village of Tobermory was established in 1788 by the British Fisheries Society and in 1797 John Sinclair, a local kelp merchant, applied for the lease of 57 acres of land on the area known as Ledaig in order to build housing and a distillery.
Distilling was, however, banned in Britain between 1795 and 1797 in order to conserve grain stores for the War of the First Coalition with France. As a result, his application was rejected and he was only granted permission to build a brewery. However, Sinclair was not a man to give up that easily. He remained true to his original plan and a year later Ledaig Distillery was established.
The Great Depression of the 1930s, coupled with a decade of prohibition in the USA, saw demand for whisky plummet and the distillery would cease to operate for 41 long years. In 1971, the Ledaig Distillery (Tobermory Ltd.) reopened, but the years ahead were punctuated with highs, lows and further closures. The 1980s saw the distillery warehouses being converted into flats and showed signs that this was the beginning of the end until it took on new life in 1993 when it was purchased by Burns Stewart Distillers.Show more